A ‘crushing’ obsession

It’s never easy admitting you have an obsession. It can be embarrassing, frustrating and even a little depressing. Perhaps the best thing to do is just admit the obsession and move on to the healing process.

So, here goes I was addicted to Candy Crush Saga. I have to admit I do feel better just throwing that out there. Candy Crush Saga, as many of you may know, is a colorful puzzle game, kind of like Bejeweled and others that involve lining up three, four or five tokens to eliminate a row. The first 10 or 20 levels are quite easy and therein lies the problem. The game lulls you into a sense of confidence and competence – so much so that players often begin to make brash moves to get more points, advance the game a little faster and get more bonuses.

But then, the puzzles become a little more difficult. It may take several chances to complete the level’s task. Before you know it, you’ve run through all five “lives” you are given. When that happens, a little heart-shaped icon with sad eyes and tears running down, lets you know that it will be 30-minutes before you can regain a life and play again. Really? Oh, but wait for just 99-cents you can purchase five more lives right now and continue. Oh, the temptation. But I stick to my resolve and wait out the clock. A new life appeared and I entered the game again and soon failed again. Twenty-three minutes this time. And so the vicious circle continues.

Of course, if you link to your Facebook account, you can ask your friends to share a life to continue in the game. Likewise, your friends can also ask for help when they get stuck.

One of my friends said that if she could remember who had introduced her to this game addiction, she would recommend having them drawn and quartered. I tend to agree. If I had known about the frustration levels that came right along with downloading this game, I would have thought twice, maybe even three times, before jumping into play.

I decided to set the game aside after watching my husband and son also becoming frustrated with the with the gooey, sweet candy game. At one point, the three of us were sitting in the living room each with an electronic device, playing Candy Crush. Instead of interacting, talking, playing a board game together or going for a walk, our heads were down, nose to the screen, furiously trying to finish levels.

Of course, there are many other games out there with similar formats, designed to play up those frustrations so players will divvy up some cash for extra play time. It’s ingenious, really.

So, I’m choosing to step away from this sugary confection that has proven to be so addictive. There are too many other things in my life that are so much more important than a silly game. I’d rather immerse myself in a good mystery novel or work on some of the many projects around the house I’ve been putting off. And there’s never enough time to finish all of those.